If it was London, there must be fog.

Spike peered around the wall, looking to see where his prey had run off to now.  He was grinning, maniacal in the pure pleasure of the hunt.  Such a bitty thing this one was, too.  Sweet and innocent, charmed by a handsome face and clever words.

See what bloody Robert thinks about my words now.

Then again, Robert wouldn’t think much about Spike—or William, for that matter.  Robert was rather satisfyingly dead, several railroad spikes pressed through eyes, mouth, and temple.  It had been such fun to hear the bone crack and various internal bits squish and ooze.  Better the way he’d managed to live through it all till one spike finally pierced his brain.  The screams had been sweet.

“Here now, little poppet.  Why’re you running like that?”  Still dressed in the finery Dru had cooed and petted him over, he edged into the alleyway.  What was it about prey running into alleys?  Not that he was complaining, mind, since the lovely fear scent when they realized they were trapped was. . . heady. Mebbe intoxicating might be better.  Exhilarating?  Whatever the word, Spike craved it and it seemed this one was willing to oblige him.

 “I’m sorry if I frightened you,” he continued in tones as cultured as William’s used to be.  He’d fought dear Daddy’s attempts to get him to speak like the ponce used to, but Dru had eventually convinced him that it was useful.  It had gotten them into the party without question, Dru chasing her own fancy while he went for something a bit. . . greener.

Movement, from the left, the sound almost muffled by a few boxes alerted him to her presence.  Swallowing back his grin and surreptitiously verifying that his eyes weren't yellow - something that was occasionally still difficult to manage - he began edging his way toward her.  He could hear her heartbeat now, pounding hard enough to break the fragile bones that encased it.  Spike licked his lips - fresh heart was a delicacy Dru dearly enjoyed.

“I think, perhaps, we should probably return,” he said into the stuffy air.  London fog choked dead lungs and made live ones wheeze.  Such a pretty sound.  “Your mother must be worried about you, by now.”  Another burst of fear, terror for life eclipsed by the older, more familiar terror, pouring out to bathe pale dead skin in rapture.

A tiny, scrabbling sound alerted him.  He moved to the edge of the pile, ready when a small body, brand new fancy dress, torn and smeared with filth burst out.  Boxes and pipes showered in her wake, wooden clattering mixed with hooting, ringing tones upon the cobblestones.

She landed right in his arms.  A terrified face looked up into his.  “Please,” she whispered.  “Mercy.”  So young, this one was.  No older than fifteen, for all the maturity of the body pressed against his, probably at her very first big party.  She’d been so excited, flitting around with the older crowd, posing for the boys.  He leaned down to lick her neck - peach fuzz danced on his tongue.  “Please.”  Hiccupped sobs made her jerk within his embrace.

“Sorry, luv,” he whispered, a hint of real contrition among the gloating.  If he were to come back in a year or two, after she’d been through the circuit a bit. . . “You look too good to wait.”

Hot, rich blood, more potent than any of the words that still spun about his mind, spilled out in liquid waves of pure ecstasy, coating teeth and tongue and lips and throat with sustenance  better than the wines he’d sipped, better than the imported chocolates he’d tasted on rare occurrences.  This was ambrosia.  This was perfection.  This was life.

Whimpering screams tapered off to piteous moans when Spike dragged himself back to the present.  Retrieving the cloak he’d stuffed in a pocket before leaving, he spread it around her limp form.  “Hush, poppet,” he soothed in a parody of his own recent past.  “Gotta make you nice and pretty for Mummy, don’t I?”

“Mother?” she whispered, unable to comprehend anything beyond that familiar word.

“Course!  What kind of a gent do you think I am, having my way with you before I’ve even introduced you to the family?  They’ll like you, pretty.”  Another lick, probing delicately at wounds that bled sluggishly.  “You taste like strawberries.”